New PDF release: Addiction

By David Nutt & Liam J. Nestor & Liam Nestor

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GHB = γ-hydroxybutyric acid. LSD = lysergic acid diethylamide. Reprinted from The Lancet, 376(9752), Nutt, D. , King, L. , & Phillips, L. , Drug harms in the UK: a multicriteria decision analysis, 1558–1565, Copyright (2010), with permission from Elsevier. Estimates for the cost of substance use to society in economic terms are limited. These include costs to the individual, such as the costs related to premature death, drug-related illness and the loss of earnings through criminality/imprisonment, sickness, temporary or permanent unemployment, and reduced educational attainment.

Therefore, dopamine neurons in the VS are activated only when the current reward is better than the previous reward. Much evidence for the role of dopamine-dependent neural substrates in learning and memory comes from findings in associative learning. This is the process by which an 59 association between two stimuli (or a stimulus and behaviour) is learned. There are two forms of associative learning: classical and operant. In classical conditioning, a neutral stimulus is repeatedly paired with a reflex eliciting stimulus until the neutral stimulus elicits the same reflex response on its own.

G. e. rewarding). They are rewarding, particularly during the initial phases of use, because they induce a conscious experience of pleasure. This pleasure induces ‘liking’. ‘Liking’ is related to activity in discrete hedonic ‘hot spots’ within the reward circuitry of the brain (see Chapter 4). Activity in these ‘hot spots’ has been shown to be increased in animals, together with ‘liking’ reactions, when they are stimulated. Unconscious (or implicit) ‘liking’ reactions to hedonic stimuli are also possible without the conscious feelings of pleasure.

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Addiction by David Nutt & Liam J. Nestor & Liam Nestor


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